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New Honda Civic ups its game

29.09.2016

Honda, as a brand, hasn’t exactly been on form of late bar the exciting Civic Type R. It would appear that each time I receive a new Honda product to test, I find myself feeling disappointed in either the quality or overall execution of the product.

However, I recently received the brand’s tenth generation Civic and was suitably impressed with the strides the brand has made with this model.

Bigger and more bold

The latest Civic has grown up in more ways than one. Not only is the car physically bigger, but due to the fact that the Accord will no longer be sold locally, this new model has to fill the void as well as satisfy demand for Civic models locally.

On first glance, the Civic is certainly more extrovert in the styling department, with a more stylised aesthetic that includes lashings of chrome, edgy surfaces and a silhouette that suggests a discreet sportiness. For a brand that has always been good at remaining under the radar in terms of styling, the latest Civic and indeed the decidedly ‘riced’ Type R that preceded it, show that the brand has the ability to make cars that look exciting.

That turbo motor

Before I delve in to the pros and cons of the brand’s latest 1.5 litre turbocharged petrol motor, allow me to mention that the Civic retains a CVT gearbox, the bane of many a motoring writers’ existence. However, also allow me to add the fact that I didn’t mind this particular CVT; it did not frustrate me or produce that annoying whining sound usually associated with these transmissions.

Now, back to that motor which proved to be somewhat of a revelation. There is 127 kW / 220 Nm available which proves plenty in the real world. The turbo Civic is by no means a performance car, but it certainly isn’t slow with a claimed 0-100km/h time of just over 8.0 seconds. Honda also claim a consumption figure of 5.9 litres/100km, however in my time with the car, a figure closer to 8.0 litres/100km is what I achieved.

Comfort, refinement and quality

Perhaps the most impressive thing about the Civic is the ride quality. It manages to remain comfortable across many different surfaces, while not falling to pieces when asked to do something dynamic. The comfort is matched in refinement with very little wind noise penetrating the cabin. In terms of build quality, I was impressed although certain materials remain questionable in some areas.

Pricing and equipment

The model I had on test was the R460 000 1.5 Executive CVT, which is a lot of money for a Civic, however, the car does comes with a few modern safety systems.

There Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist System, Road Departure mitigation, Forward Collision Warning and Lane Watch with side-sensing cameras. The Lane Watch, which utilises the cameras, is a particularly nifty feature; the vehicle will show you a side-facing camera when you activate the indicator, this ensures you that there are no obstructions in your way.

Verdict

This latest Civic is a great product for the brand. After a few disappointments with other models, I was happy to drive a Honda that I enjoyed and one I felt better represents where the brand should be in terms of downsizing, styling and drive quality.

My thoughts surrounding the car were reaffirmed when I noted that my peers agreed with my sentiments by voting for the Civic as a finalist in the Wesbank SA Car of the Year competition for 2017.

Article written by Sean Nurse
29.09.2016
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